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Showing 1-10 of 1,007 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,738 reviews
on February 2, 2013
I write this review in the knowledge that probably no one will read it - there are already over 700 reviews and almost all of them are five star. This review is part of that legion and that's fine by me.

So given I am writing this review for me - I will take some licence. Firstly I have read loads of PA ficton ( favorite so far is The Old Man and the Wasteland), but I hesitated with my purchase of Swan Song. I kept coming across references and praise of Swan Song. At $10 is was a lot more than many Kindle reads I buy. Then I thought, the last few books I read were only a couple of bucks - but they were c#%^ and pretty short too. So I thought, Swan Song is over 800 pages - so even if it is just okay it is still better value. So I bought it and have not experienced buyers remorse.

Swan Song draws you in. It is a different type of PA novel as it as a mystical undertone. Not in the kind of 'roll your eyes, give me a break' way - but a spiritual side to the story that adds to its depth and humanity. There are several concurrent plots which weave together as the story unfolds. Each sub plot is interesting. What surprised me was that I became so engrossed with one story line, I literally forgot about some other characters and was surprised when they reappeared. It was ' oh of course, I had completly forgotten about you guys'. That is a really good thing showing just how easy it is to become lost in the story.

If I was being ultra critical I would say that there was a certain 'convenience' of events towards the end. Also - and yes this is just a personal bugbear, the author has obviously had limited exposure to horses. Horses do not lap water like a dog - they suck it. They also really don't behave in the way Mule did. Yes, yes I know it is a minor point - but it was one of the few times in the story where an inaccuracy brought me out of the story and back to reality.

I see many reviewers have compared this to other books ( and no I am not going to reference the books). This really gets my goat. Swan Song is an original work that stands high in its own right. It is , in my opinion, almost insulting to say 'its just like xyz', 'it's as good as xyz'. Swan Song is a great read - enough said.
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on August 15, 2016
Just re-read Swan Song which I had originally read 20-some years ago. Love this book. It's about the long-term aftermath of an all out nuclear war in which America is left as wasteland. It blends the horror of a nuclear apocalypse with supernatural and magical forces. As survivors wander from one charred hamlet to the next, a militia led by a crazed Vietnam Vet and a young insane boy(who perpetually believes himself to be a video game player) into a giant army while the other main characters (all in different parts of the country) are drawn together through a supernatural glass jewel that formed in the destruction of 5th Avenue NYC. Meanwhile, a mysterious demon-like entity who can change faces in a split second is traveling the wasteland enjoying the carnage and out to destroy anyone who might bring hope to the survivors (mainly the three main heroes of the novel: A former wrestler, a young girl with supernatural horticultural/agricultural powers and a former bag lady from NYC.) I have seen from other comments some dissent as to whether or not this novel is like the Stand by Stephen King. I would have to vote with the side of---yes, very much so! It just uses nuclear war instead of plague as the theme. I loved the Stand but I thought Swan Song was a bit better, I enjoyed the characters more and wish it had been made into a movie, too.
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on October 29, 2016
My boyfriends best friend had just gotten out of the Marines, and we were his first stop. In addition to the numerous bottles of alcohol he brought (I believe the are required to take classes on how to consume large amounts of alcohol and remain standing!) he also brought this book. He handed it over to me and said it was terrific and told me to read it. He wasn't kidding, because I finished it before he left, and I returned it to him. It was was often popping up in my mind throughout the years and I finally decided to locate it and re-read it. My problem was, I couldn't remember the title or the author. (Probably would have been able to if I had not been powering through it!). For years I would use a search engine with words and phrases in hopes of finding out something that could point me in the right direction. Finely, a month ago, I was pretty sure I had found it. I started in on it, and it was most certainly the right one.

It was better than I remembered, and I feel so fortunate to have found it. I now have my own Marine, my son, and I will be sending him this book in his next care package from home. It is a very thought provoking book that has a little twist of fantasy throughout it, but who knows...if we blow up the world, those things might very well happen. In light of our current political issues I found myself even more intrigued. I'm pretty sure most people remember the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". Most of us know they can hurt. Let's hope that anyone who is entrusted with our country remembers how devastating it could be to make a rash decision.
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on July 16, 2016
My first book n definitely not going to be the last from this great great writer. I got creeped out and so disturbed by the plot that i had to put the book down several times to clear my mind, but the hand just kept reaching out for more... more events, more horrors, as welll as more hope.
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on January 30, 2016
Many have compared this book to King's "The Stand" and with good reason the similarities are too blatant to miss, I thought perhaps King had rewritten The Stand using bombs in place of the flu or what we had was a good old case odds plagiarism. From the journey through the Holland Tunnel to visions of a corn field. Having said that I will say,that while the similarities of good against evil remained this is a good one to read. Of course I enjoy a good doomsday book, I tend to try and think now what would I do in that situation. You get to know all the characters very well and each one held my interest. You understand them and what makes them tick or act crazy, which ever the case may be. There was a moment when I felt a twinge of sorrow for the Colonel and if you don't love Josh and Robin well there's no hope for you. Mr. McCammon does a great job of pulling you in,he describes everything so well yet he doesn't drone on, except perhaps for the war. Have to admit I skimmed over some of that, I wanted to hurry up & just see who died and who lived. Good ending also, he doesn't leave you hanging. Will read more of his work in the future. Read it & enjoy, I did!
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on April 20, 2017
I read and enjoyed this book many years ago. I have thought about it many times over the years but I have never picked it back up. Several months ago I found it on Amazon and purchased it. I am so glad I did because it was like seeing an old friend again. I enjoyed it as much or more this time. The story is timeless and is so well written. Fans of reading will enjoy this book no matter what their favorite genre is.
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on June 12, 2017
I love these type of books. I read The Stand several years ago and was sad when it ended, I wanted it to go on and on. A friend recommended Swan Song to me and told me it was also about good and evil and people surviving in a world destroyed. I put it on my Kindle and decided to start it before turning in for the night.....this was 10 pm and it was 2 am when I tore myself away from it. Usually I have no trouble putting a book down and picking it up when time permits but this book...WOW! I usually do not review books but I just had to tell everyone that I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
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on January 24, 2013
I enjoyed this book, but it is not, in my opinion, as good as The Stand. In this one, the world ends in fire, not plague, but it pretty much parallels King's work after that: many different characters who represent either good or evil and whose paths eventually intersect in a climatic way, with the addition of a supernatural bad guy and other supernatural elements. I find King's character development to be superior (in fact, that is the standout feature of his writing, to me), and The Stand was definitely scarier to me, but I think Swan Song had a better twist at the end, and overall the end made more sense (King's great weakness is that his tales often go awry at the end, as if he just can't figure out how to wrap it all up). Swan Song is a well-written novel and I think fans of the PA genre will definitely want to add it to their collections.
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on August 24, 2016
I read Swan over ten years ago. Since then I pick it up every two years or so and read it again. Each re-read I find more of the plot line. Like seeing a movie over again and catching new things like red doorknobs.
I feel Swan is to be compared to Stephen Kong's masterpiece The Stand. Both are terrified reads. It's hard to find another book to read after finishing those books.
Swan is worth six stars. After reading Swan, I started to read other Robert McCammon books. They are all excellent reads.
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on April 24, 2017
This novel is a tale of a world destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. There are no zombies, but war is waged between the eternal forces of good and evil. The characters are so well developed that I wept over the death of my favorite. This story has heart and action in equal measure. The overall effect of the emotional turmoil wrought​ by the author can be equated to waking from a nightmare to a beautiful day.
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